CITES, WCO Support Discussion on Measures to Combat Illegal Trade

6 February 2012: The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) supported a roundtable discussion on measures to prevent and combat illegal trade in endangered species. During the ministerial segment, participants recognized the need to raise the awareness of heads of State about the scale of illegal wildlife trafficking, and its impacts beyond wildlife conservation, including on the tourism sector and local livelihoods.

The roundtable was organized by the Minister for Trade for Sweden and Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism for Tanzania, and convened on 26 January 2012, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

During the roundtable's technical discussion, participants highlighted the need for increased penalties for wildlife crimes, and expressed interest in using controlled deliveries as an investigation tool for wildlife crime. They also identified priority issues, including the gathering and use of intelligence about recent instances of alleged illegal trade in great apes.

The findings and conclusions of the roundtable aim to inform: targeted national wildlife law enforcement actions in producer and consumer countries; coordinated activities of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC); upcoming international meetings on wildlife crime to be held in Bangkok, Thailand in February and Lyon, France in March; and the second phase of a project in Africa and Asia funded by Sweden, to be held later in the year.

The roundtable included representatives of: Tanzania's Wildlife Division, National Parks Division, Wildlife Research Institute and Revenue Authority - Customs; Sweden's Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Nigeria's Customs Services; the CITES Secretariat; WCO; the UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC); the UN Environment Programme's Great Apes Survival Partnership (UNEP GRASP); TRAFFIC; World Wide Fund for Nature; Pan African Sanctuary Alliance; and African Apes. [CITES News]